A News and Politics Blog, With a Smattering of Sports

Friday, July 21, 2006

11:13 AM: 
It seems that Doug Thompson is at it again.

As a refresher, back in 2003 I wrote this article which detailed how Thompson and Capitol Hill Blue had relied on a non-existant person for some slanderous quotations about President Bush.

Now, Eric Scheie (here and here) and Clayton Cramer (here and here) are detailing something that is deja vu all over again. Go and read their posts now.

Clayton points out that CHB is now admitting that this other Bush basher does not exist (which is remarkably similar to the pullback they did on Wilkinson).

In 1998, our former editor, Jack Sharp, began receiving a regular, almost daily, email "newsletter" from a "Professor George Harleigh" offering quotes, observations and commentary on current political events along with permission to use those comments as we saw fit. "Professor Harleigh" claimed to be a retired political science professor from Southern Illinois University and offered, as backup, links to a number of web sites and news publications that quoted him or used material furnished by him. We checked the web sites and other news publications and found him quoted often so we began using his material in selected stories. Since 1998, we have used quotes from "George Harleigh" in 83 stories on our web site.

Recently, we received an inquiry from Southern Illinois University saying they were trying to locate the "George Harleigh" who claimed to have taught at their institution but said they did not have any record of a "George Harleigh" or even a "Harleigh" ever teaching at the university's campuses in Carbondale or Edwardsville, Illinois. That inquiry led us to investigate further. We talked with other web sites that have used quotes from the same source and all, like us, received the quotes in an email newsletter format. The newsletter email currently traced back to a qmail account. We also posted inquiries on bulletin boards and other blogs. When we received today's newsletter we immediately mailed back and asked for additional information. We did not receive an answer and followup emails bounced back as undeliverable.

At this point, I do not think it is prudent or wise to take CHB at face value on anything they say or claim. To wit:

CHB says : [Harleigh] "claimed to be a retired political science professor from Southern Illinois University and offered, as backup, links to a number of web sites and news publications that quoted him or used material furnished by him."

I think CHB should provide the contents of this email, so that outside sources can see which websites and news publications were checked. If such websites exist, they should be notified of the fraud. I suspect there was no such diligence conducted by CHB, however.

CHB says : "Recently, we received an inquiry from Southern Illinois University saying they were trying to locate the "George Harleigh" who claimed to have taught at their institution"

I think CHB should specify from who at SIU this inquiry came. I suspect that no such inquiry was made, but instead it was pressure coming from Clayton, Eric, and others.

CHB says : "We also posted inquiries on bulletin boards and other blogs."

I think that CHB should provide URLs to these bulletin boards and other blogs to document their seemingly public efforts to verify Harleigh. I suspect that no bulletin board or blog postings were made.

CHB says they were receiving these newsletters frequently, including yesterday. They should provide a copy of as many of these newsletters as they have available, including the full mail headers (which can be used to determine the actual originating IP address and could lead to the revelation of the fraudster-- if he wasn't made up in full cloth).

I freely admit that my suspicions may be off base, but believe I have good reason for them. I also suspect that the substantiation of the claims in the pullback that I requested above will never be forthcoming. I hope on that I am wrong; the emailed newsletters with full headers would be particularly useful in tracing the roots of this latest fraud. Unless the fraud started and ended at CHB, in which case the newsletters could never be produced.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

10:21 PM: 
So what do leftists really think about Reagan, as they watch their preferred candidate John Kerry say nice things about him?

Sunday, September 28, 2003

8:46 AM: 
It is amazing how busy life can get. Pity.

Anywho... here are the football picks.

Cardinals (+10.5) at St. Louis: As you well know, I abhor giving big points. The Cardinals showed signs of life, and the Rams have been ok but not great. Take the points.

San Francisco (-1.5) at Minnesota: Why, exactly, are the Vikes dogs here? They are at home. They are undefeated, while the Niners are in deep trouble. The reason has to be the injury to Culpepper, but he might play. Even if he doesn't, winning at the Dome is a tough assignment, and I have yet to see any evidence that Dennis Erickson can be a successful NFL coach-- and he is with his second NFL team. Take the points.

Tennessee (+2.5) at Pittsburgh: The Titans are the better team, but the Steelers are one of those teams that simply match up well. This is almost too close to call, but I'll go with the home team. Give the points.

New England (-2.5) at Washington: The Skins took advantage of a late letdown by the Giants to make that game interesting, but the reality is that they were beaten badly for a good portion of that game. The Patriots won't let a team off the mat like that. Give the points.

Jacksonville (-2.5) at Houston: The Leftwich era begins. I am not sure that the Jags, with Brunell, are better at this point than the Texans. And Brunell is a quality NFL quarterback. Leftwich may be some day, but rookies rarely are at the start and until they show something should be assumed to not be quality. Take the points.

Philadelphia (+3.5) at Buffalo: Did the Eagles figure anything out in their bye week, or will their disasterous start continue? The Dolphins showed how to handle the Bills, but the Eagles do not have Ricky Williams and their D is not what it used to be. Give the points.

Cincinnati (+5.5) at Cleveland: Is there a QB controversy at the Mistake By The Lake? The Bengals played hard against the Raiders, and those of us who are rooting for Marvin Lewis want to see opportunities. Take the points.

Kansas City (-2.5) at Baltimore: The Ravens looked pretty good the last two weeks. But good enough to be within a three spot of the Chiefs? I don't see it. Three star special, give the points.

San Diego (+7.5) at Oakland: I would have gone with the Chargers to make it close, except they won't be dressing Boston. The Raiders can stop a one-dimensional attack. Give the points.

Dallas (+2.5) at the Jets: The Cowboys are a better team than the Jets right now, and they are getting points? Unless there are specific matchup problems, whenever the better team is getting points I will take them. Give me the points.

Atlants (+5.5) at Carolina: The Panthers are convincing me that they are for real. Bring back Vick and I pick differently, but that is still weeks away. Give the points.

Detroit (+11.5) at Denver: I hate giving big spreads, but Mike Shanahan will run up the score at the drop of a hat. Give the points, three star special.

Indianapolis (-1.5) at New Orleans: The Saints can't look this bad all year. Can they? Give the points.

Green Bay (-3.5) at Chicago: It will be loud. It will be emotional. It will be raucus. But the Bears still suck. Two star, give the points.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

5:28 AM: 
Clark calls for a new American patriotism:
"Gen. Wesley K. Clark called today for 'a new American patriotism' that would encourage broader public service, respect domestic dissent even in wartime and embrace international organizations like the United Nations."
I have an idea- let's redefine words! Let's take "patriotism", for example. Let's redefine it to mean one thing it has always meant (public service), one thing that it may not have meant but is how things are now (despite Democrat whining, there was plenty of respect for dissent during this war), and one thing that is completely the opposite but is what the Democrats wish people would do (embrace sovereignity-busting international institutions like the UN).

Sunday, September 21, 2003

8:02 PM: 
So how have the games so far gone for our intrepid prognosticator?

I took the Jets +6.5. They lost by 7. Doh! 0-1
I took the Texans +7.5. They lost by a lot. Doh! 0-2
I took the Bucs -3.5. They won by a lot. Yay! 1-2
I took the Steelers -4.5. They won by 7. 2-2
It was a two star! 3-2.
I took the Vikings -3.5. They won by ten. 4-2
I took the Titans -3.5. They covered. 5-2
I took the Jags +7.5. No one's perfect. 5-3
I took the Rams +2.5. They lost but I covered. 6-3
The Giants won in overtime, as a three star special getting 3.5. 7-3, 8-3, 9-3! Cha-ching!
I took the Pack giving points, and they lost outright. 9-4
I took the Ravens giving a half. I won! 10-4
I took the Browns getting 6.5. They won, and so did I. 11-4

This is a HUGE improvement over last week, at least so far. I have the Bills (as a 3-star) and the Raiders in the last two games of the week.

12:09 PM: 
Bush Denounced as 'Evil F---' at Kerry Fundraiser:
"Then, after the song ended, Moby denounced Bush to the crowd of Kerry-backers as 'an evil f---,' the News said."
Again, I ask you- shouldn't we be asking if the left in this country wants to inspire people to hate and fear conservatives? Are they not trying to foster a dangerous mindset?

It would not shock me if, in my lifetime, I saw an outbreak of violence against conservatives. It is, after all, what the left is pushing for.

10:43 AM: 
The question is, why am I still making NFL picks when I had such an amazingly bad week last week?

I guess I am a masochist at heart. And an optimist. And stubborn to boot.

So let's go to the lines:

New York Jets (+6.5) at New England Patriots: The Pats lost a key component of their defense, while the Jets have looked absolutely mediocre against two tough foes. I do not see any big difference in these two squads at this point, and as such I will take a 6.5 gift.

Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5) at Houston Texans: The Texans have played well so far this year, with a fairly stout defense. The Chiefs look like title contenders. Dick Vermeil appears to have done it again. But specifically for this game, Priest Holmes is hobbled, and while he will play and play well, it is likely that he will come out if the Chiefs get up big, which should allow the Texans to hang around. I can envision a game where a late touchdown allows the Texans to beat the spread... that is if they weren't already doing so. Give me the points.

Tampa Bay Bucs (-3.5) at Atlanta Falcons: After the shock loss to the Panthers, Gruden should have the Bucs coming out firing-- and with the special teams holes patched. I mean, they would have to have patched them, wouldn't they? Give the points.

Pittsburgh (-4.5) at Cincinnati: The Bengals played gamely against the Raiders, and lost. The Steelers played gamely against the Chiefs and lost. The Chiefs are a lot better than the Raiders at this point, and the Chiefs played exceptionally while the Raiders played poorly. This is a two star special- give the points.

Minnesota Vikings (-3.5) at Detroit Lions: I understand that the Vikings often struggle at the Motor City. But is there ANY reason at all to think the Lions can hang within a touchdown of the impressive-to-date Vikes? Not that I can see. Give the points.

New Orleans Saints (+3.5) at Tennessee Titans: The Titans have too much for the Saints. And that's all I have to say about that.

Jacksonville Jaguars (+7.5) at Indianapolis Colts: The Colts have been completely Dugified. They are a good team, but they struggle offensively. The Jags can still score, and I have a hard time giving more than a touch when taking a Dungy squad. Give me the Jags and the points.

St. Louis Rams (+2.5) at Seattle Seahaws: This game reminds me of the Steelers/Chiefs game last week-- we'll know a lot more about both teams after this game. I suspect we'll see a bit of a comedown for the Hawks, so give me the points.

The New York Football Giants (+3.5) at Washington Redskins: Spurrier is still a popular darling. Any sign of life from his squad, and suddenly he gets tons of support from the linemakers. Meanwhile, the Giants, who admittedly had a bad loss against the Cowboys, have been underrated for years and have been one of the better teams against the spread over the last three years. This is a three star special, only because I do not do four stars. Take the points.

Green Bay (-7.5) at Arizona: The Cardinals are the new Bengals. Even if the old Bengals are still around. Give the points.

Baltimore (-0.5) at San Diego: Here's a prediction: Lewis will not break his own record this week. However, until I see some sign that Ladanian is completely healthy, I have to assume his hammy is still giving him a problem, and without him the Chargers do not have much. Give the half a point.

Cleveland (-6.5) at San Francisco: The Browns should be embarrassed after last week's fiasco. I look for them to bounce back against the running game, which should allow them to hang close. Take the points.

Buffalo (+2.5) at Miami: I am going to have to do another 3 star special here. The Bills have looked like one of the two or three best teams in the league, and they are dogs? Woof. Give me the points.

Oakland (+1.5) at Denver: Were the Broncos completely healthy, I would lean towards them. But they are not, and I do not believe the Raiders will look horrible all year.

10:09 AM: 
Charlie Rangel on Wesley Clark::
"'He can save this goddam nation from self-destruction,' declares New York Congressman Charles Rangel, who is arranging a meeting for Clark with the Congressional Black Caucus, possibly as early as this week."
Just some more evidence that the Democrats hate America. They absolutely it.

10:03 AM: 
Amazonian find stuns researchers:
"He said the Amazon people moved huge amounts of dirt to build roads and plazas. At one place, there is evidence that they even built a bridge spanning a major river. The people also altered the natural forest, planting and maintaining orchards and agricultural fields and the effects of this stewardship can still be seen today, Heckenberger said.

Diseases such as smallpox and measles, brought to the new world by European explorers, are thought to have wiped out most of the population along the Amazon, he said. By the time scientists began studying the indigenous people, the population was sparse and far flung. As a result, some researchers assumed that that was the way it was prior to Columbus."
I find this fascinating.

I wonder how things would have gone, had these societies not been eradicated by diseases carried over from Europe. Would they be the target of Greenpeace and other far-left groups, as threats to the rain forests?

Or would the far left be pushing for aid for them, since they would undoubtably be poor in comparison to other nations? Even if such aid would modernize them, to the 'detriment' of the rain forests?

9:55 AM: 
Poll shows Clark moving quickly to top tier of Democratic presidential candidates:
"Retired Gen. Wesley Clark already appears to be very competitive in a new national poll released Saturday just days after he became the 10th Democratic presidential candidate.

Clark was among the leaders of the Democratic candidates in the Newsweek Poll and was not far behind President Bush in a head-to-head matchup in the poll taken only days after entering the race.

Clark, with 14 percent, was grouped among the leaders, along with former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, both at 12 percent, and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry at 10 percent. "
I would like to see another poll that validates this one. In the meanwhile, assuming this is correct, it shows how unbelievably soft the support for all the candidates is at the point.

9:48 AM: 
In Texas Senate, a Racial Outburst:
"So it was a measure of how incendiary the Texas fight over congressional redistricting has become when several of the chamber's Democrats -- all but two of them black or Hispanic -- on Thursday denounced their all-white Republican brethren as racists, supremacists and bigots."
The s used to ize groups of people, in order to inspire fear and loathing against those people, and in order to take advantage of that fear and loathing to rise to power.

The Democrats are today's s, and they are trying to make conservatives their Jews.